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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Few Taking Up City's Offer of Free Sandbags

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Sandbags can be most useful...
  • Sandbags can be most useful...
The term "selling like hotcakes" is bothersome. Just how well do hotcakes sell? And how many short-order cooks have been driven to violence because of tautological questions regarding the sales acumen of their hotcakes?

In any event, if we're looking for an antonym to "selling like hotcakes," San Francisco's Department of Public Works may have provided it: "moving like sandbags."

As it does during every rainy season, the DPW offers San Franciscans up to 10 sandbags, free, to stave off flooding. On Friday, 3,000 bags were sitting at the DPW yard on Cesar Chavez, awaiting good homes. As of yesterday afternoon, there were 2,890 sitting unclaimed. This means as few as 11 San Franciscans have availed themselves of this useful giveaway.

By the way, sandbags aren't as cheap as you'd think. The city pays $2.75 apiece for them (it used to make its own -- there's plenty of sand to be had around here -- but it turned out to be more expensive than simply buying them). Yet it figures that it's more cost effective to give away $2.75 sandbags than send city workers out in the rain to plumb your flooded garage.

Incidentally, $2.75 for a 30-pound sandbag is a good deal; it's less than dirt cheap. A local gardening store told us a 25-pound bag of sand goes for about $7.99. Those with green thumbs and arid gardens requiring sand could make out like bandits here. That being said, gardening sand is harvested from rivers and lakes where you certainly won't get any salt -- which plants abhor. The city's giveaway sandbags don't offer that assurance.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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